Michael Morell, former CIA acting director, told CNN that he finds it unusual the intelligence community would present President-elect Donald Trump and President Barack Obama with a summary of information they had not yet verified.
“I was a bit surprised that our intelligence community would take a private document and summarize it for the President and President-elect if they didn’t know anything about the credibility of the information in it,” Morell told Christiane Amanpour.
“That would be, quite frankly, unprecedented – to take a private document, right – you’d be doing that every day, if that’s the way you were operating,” he added. “If there was some reason why they thought some part of it or certain aspects of it were credible, that they had actually done some work, then it might make sense to bring it to his attention.”
“We just don’t know which one it is right now.”
He also said that the memos on which the summary from the intelligence community was based contain information that he knows to be true, some that he knows to be false, and some that is contradictory.
“This is what you see when you look at raw intelligence,” he said. “I last night read the entire 18 memos, the 35 pages,” Morell said. “I was looking at things that I knew – small bits of information that I knew were true.”
“I saw stuff that was absolutely not true – small bits. I saw a bunch of stuff that I had no idea. I saw stuff that was contradictory.”
It’s “very important to remember that sources, even the best CIA sources, get things wrong all the time,” Morell added. “They lie to enhance their credibility, right – to try to get more money.”
“So my bottom line,” he said, “was I can’t tell what’s true here and what’s not. This needs a lot more work.”